The high street suffered its worst December on record last month as retailers battled with Arctic weather conditions and shoppers shunned higher prices.
Retail sales volumes declined 0.8 drop in year-on-year sales volumes - another record plunge - as prices soared 5 like-for-like sales growth in the 14 weeks to January 8, while UK number one Tesco disappointed with 0.6 month-on-month, the ONS said. Soaring food prices, reflected within the rising rate of Consumer Price Index inflation which stands at 3.7 of all retail sales - as £770 million was spent online in December. But even internet food sales were hit by the weather, the ONS added, as retailers noted a tailing-off of sales after December 13, when reports of delayed and failed deliveries started to surface. Household goods stores also performed badly, matching the 0.9 month on month, with the new Xbox Kinect selling well across the sector. The ONS noted a rise in sales volumes at sport equipment stores. The volume of retail sales was also flat year-on-year, once again a record low, the ONS said. The value of retail sales rose 2 month-on-month.